Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 31, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 31, 2022

In this edition of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup: another J.T. Miller trade proposal, musings about Phil Kessel signing with the Oilers, and examining the possibility of Jesse Puljujarvi getting traded to the Islanders.

ANOTHER J.T. MILLER TRADE PROPOSAL

THE SCORE: Josh Wegman recently wondered if trading Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller to the New Jersey Devils for a package including defenseman Damon Severson would work for both teams.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Wegman thinks it would make sense for the Devils given Severson’s eligibility for unrestricted free agent status next summer and their recent acquisition of John Marino. They struck out in the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes and could use another veteran star forward to complement Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. They also possess the cap space to re-sign Miller before his UFA eligibility next summer.

As for the Canucks, extending Miller could be tricky given Bo Horvat’s UFA eligibility next summer and Elias Pettersson will be due for a new contract in 2024. They would be better off investing to address other needs. Severson would be a massive upgrade to the right side of the Canucks blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks would like to re-sign Miller but they could shop before the trade deadline if he proves too expensive. We don’t know if the Devils would pursue Miller at some point before the 2023 trade deadline and if they’d part with Severson. 

I wouldn’t rule out the Devils having an interest in Miller if he becomes available. Wegman acknowledged their addition of Ondrej Palat but he also noted their need for a true top-line veteran scorer. They could also be in a position to make a competitive offer for him.

SHOULD THE OILERS SIGN KESSEL?

32 THOUGHTS PODCAST: Jeff Marek recently wondered if Phil Kessel might end up with the Edmonton Oilers. Elliotte Friedman considered it “an interesting idea”. Marek believes there’s no denying the 34-year-old right wing would score there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel’s star faded after getting traded to the low-scoring Arizona Coyotes in 2019. He struggled during his first season with the Coyotes, managing just 38 points in 70 games. However, he bounced back the following year with a team-leading 20 goals and 43 points in 56 games and was third among Coyotes scorers last season with 52 points in 82 contests.

Put Kessel on a line with Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl and his stats will improve. However, he might prefer a less intense hockey market at this stage of his career. Besides, the Oilers might have other right wing options in mind.

SHOULD THE ISLANDERS PURSUE PULJUJARVI?

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner suggests Jesse Puljujarvi might be a more affordable option for the Islanders in their quest to add a forward this season. The 24-year-old winger recently agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Oilers.

Rosner cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reporting the Oilers wanted to move Puljujarvi for a draft pick. However, interested teams have limited salary-cap space and prefer the Oilers take a player in return. Rosner suggested the Isles offer up Kieffer Bellows and a third-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could retain Puljujarvi for one more season to see if he’ll finally have his long-awaited breakout campaign. However, they could be waiting to see how much it’ll cost to re-sign winger Kailer Yamamoto before peddling Puljujarvi. Yamamoto has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 7 but he and the Oilers could reach an agreement on a new contract before then.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2022

The Devils could shop P.K. Subban at the trade deadline, updates on Shea Weber, Tomas Hertl and Jake DeBrusk plus the latest on the Islanders, Capitals and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DEVILS COULD SHOP SUBBAN

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said he’s informed P.K. Subban the club doesn’t intend to sign him to a contract extension. The 32-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Fitzgerald also told Subban he could move him before the March 21 trade deadline if he receives an offer that makes sense for the Devils.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (NHL Images)

Fitzgerald also stressed the value of Damon Severson to the Devils. He said he hasn’t spoken to anyone about the 27-year-old defenseman, who has a year remaining on his contract. However, he stressed it would take “a really good package” that helps the Devils now and in the future to pry away Severson. He also didn’t rule out making a splash in this summer’s free-agent market.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau suggests Fitzgerald could retain some of the remainder of Subban’s $9 million salary-cap hit to facilitate a trade but that would require a team offering up top assets such as prospects or draft picks.

Subban isn’t the all-star defenseman he once was. Proteau suggested the Dallas Stars or Los Angeles Kings as offseason destinations for the veteran rearguard, though the decline in his performance in recent years will affect his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban has barely come up at all in trade chatter this season. That could change as we get closer to the trade deadline and if injuries strike the blueline of a playoff contender.

Subban’s actual salary for this season is $8 million, of which $6 million was paid by the Devils at the start of the season as a signing bonus. Nevertheless, the Devils will have to retain a big chunk of his remaining cap hit to improve his trade value.

LATEST ON WEBER, HERTL AND DEBRUSK

THE ATHLETIC: Marc Antoine Godin believes the Arizona Coyotes would be a good trade partner for the Montreal Canadiens to shed the contract of Shea Weber. The 36-year-old defenseman’s career could be finished due to injuries, leaving him on long-term injury reserve.

The Coyotes have only 10 players under contract next season at a total cap hit of $37.17 million. They’ll need to add over $23 million to their payroll but could prefer remaining a budget team next season. Godin believes the Canadiens would have to add a valuable asset to convince the Coyotes to go for it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have 12 picks in this year’s draft, with two in the first round, three in the second, two in the fourth and two in the seventh round. They’ll likely add more should they ship out some players as expected by the trade deadline. The Habs could package a couple of decent picks with Weber to tempt the Coyotes.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites reports indicating the Sharks are trying hard to sign Tomas Hertl to a contract extension. The 28-year-old pending UFA center hasn’t been placed on the trade block yet, but that could change if there’s no progress toward a deal as deadline day draws near.

THE ATHLETIC: Lisa Dillman recently examined the pros and cons of the Los Angeles Kings potentially trading for Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. While she believes DeBrusk to the Kings would make sense on some levels, they’re not facing any genuine urgency to make a splash at this year’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are currently in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. They could make an addition by the deadline but GM Rob Blake could stick with his current roster for the rest of the season. He might prefer retaining assets for this summer’s trade market when better long-term options could be available.

UPDATES ON THE ISLANDERS, CAPITALS AND JETS

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported pending New York Islanders UFAs such as Cal Clutterbuck, Zach Parise, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara could be gone by the trade deadline. However, the Isles still have seven players 30-or-older under contract beyond this season.

Semyon Varlamov is signed through next season, Josh Bailey and Matt Martin each have two seasons left while Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri have three years left, Anders Lee has four years to go and Casey Cizikas has five years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Isles GM Lou Lamoriello does make some cost-cutting moves by the trade deadline they’ll likely involve those aging UFAs. Some of the others could be peddled in the offseason if he feels the club needs to add more youth into the lineup.

THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir reports Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan remains interested in adding a rental goaltender provided he’s a significant upgrade over the current tandem of Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov. The top option is the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury but other clubs are also interested in him plus he has a 10-team no-trade list.

MacLellan could also pursue an affordable upgrade for his middle-six forwards such as Seattle’s Calle Jarnkrok or Marcus Johansson. He hasn’t ruled out making an aggressive pitch for someone like Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux or San Jose’s Tomas Hertl, but that won’t be easy given their limited cap space. MacLellan has no intention of parting with a top prospect like Connor McMichael or Hendrix Lapierre and prefers to retain his high draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacLellan won’t have much luck landing Fleury, Giroux or Hertl if he won’t part with a top prospect or a first as part of the return.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jeff Hamilton reports the Jets could become sellers if they keep losing ground in the Western Conference playoff race. Most of the Jets trade rumors of late are about pending UFAs such as Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL Watcher cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussing Copp during his 32 Thoughts podcast on Monday. He believes the Jets forward will be coveted if he hits the trade block, suggesting the Colorado Avalanche as a possible destination.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 30, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 30, 2022

Are the Canucks shopping Conor Garland? Are the Leafs trying to move Petr Mrazek? What’s the latest on Josh Manson and Owen Tippett? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

CANUCKS FORWARDS ARE DRAWING INTEREST

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford is getting down to business talking about potential trades with the rest of the league after getting his management team in place last week. While there’s been a lot of rumors about J.T. Miller, Friedman believes they have a number of forwards (excluding Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat) that they’re willing to discuss with other teams. Winger Conor Garland could be among them.

Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland (NHL Images).

Teams linked to the Canucks in the rumor mill include the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. Friedman believes the New Jersey Devils could be in there as well with an interest in players with term remaining on their contracts.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston weighed in on Friedman’s report, suggesting the Devils have a pair of defensemen in Ty Smith and Damon Severson who might interest the Canucks. He noted Rutherford has made it clear he’s going to be making changes, and earlier this month said he was looking for younger players and draft picks. The Canucks president is also looking for more salary-cap flexibility.

THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal observed it’s not unusual for trade talk to pick up when a new regime takes over a club that is eager to make changes. He believes it makes sense for the Canucks to shop some of their wingers but he’s not sure Garland would be on his list as he’s still fairly young and on a good contract. However, he wondered if Rutherford would rate the 25-year-old winger as highly as the previous management.

Dayal believes trading Garland would also cast the club’s offseason blockbuster move with Arizona in a harsh light. Garland won’t fetch the top-10 pick the Canucks gave up in that deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on the Canucks leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. Rutherford and his staff are going to listen to offers but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make a series of trades before deadline day. They could move Garland, Miller or other wingers if they get solid offers but they could also hang onto them and perhaps see what the offseason market looks like.

LATEST ON MRAZEK, MANSON AND TIPPETT

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek said there’s been speculation around the league over the future of Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek given the Vezina-type season being enjoyed by starter Jack Campbell. The Leafs haven’t initiated any discussion about Mrazek but there have been teams interested in him. Any decisions about their goaltenders will be summer decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Leafs management is waiting to see how contract negotiations go with Campbell, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is due for a significant pay raise. Mrazek, meanwhile, is signed through 2023-24 with an affordable $3.8 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade list.

Elliotte Friedman said it’ll be interesting to see how long Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson will be sidelined. He’s a UFA this summer and the Leafs are believed among the clubs with an interest in the 28-year-old Ducks blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Manson’s fate also depends on where the Ducks are in the standings as the March 21 trade deadline approaches. They’re currently second in the Pacific Division and I don’t see them becoming sellers if they’re still in that position on deadline day.

Marek also reports there are a lot of trade rumors surrounding Florida Panthers forward Owen Tippett. With the Panthers in go-for-it mode this season, the 22-year-old winger is reportedly available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are believed in the market for a top-four defenseman. They’ve been linked to the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg. A promising young player like Tippett would have to be part of the package to land either guy.










NHL Morning Headlines & Rumor Mill – September 21, 2020

NHL Morning Headlines & Rumor Mill – September 21, 2020

The latest on Steven Stamkos and Jimmy Howard in this morning’s NHL headlines, plus updates on the Devils, Flyers, Senators, and Hurricanes in the NHL rumor mill.

NHL MORNING COFFEE HEADLINES

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said Steven Stamkos is inching closer to returning to action, but he doesn’t expect his captain to suit up for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight against the Dallas Stars. Stamkos has been sidelined since July with a core-muscle issue.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Goaltender Jimmy Howard wants to continue his NHL playing career but acknowledged it probably won’t be with the Red Wings. Howard, 36, is an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings are likely in the market for a starting goaltender, something Howard is no longer capable of being. He could land elsewhere on a one-year deal as a backup and mentor to a younger starter.

TSN: Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Albert (Junior) Langlois passed away over the weekend at age 85. He spent four seasons with the Canadiens from 1957 to 1961, winning three Stanley Cups. He also spent three seasons with the New York Rangers, two with the Boston Bruins, and one with the Detroit Red Wings, followed by one season with the WHL before retiring in 1967.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Langlois’ family, friends and former teammates.

NHL RUMOR MILL

TSN RADIO VANCOUVER: TSN analyst Ray Ferraro speculated Devils defenseman Damon Severson may have “soured” in New Jersey. Ferraro noted Severson is a right-hand shot, praising his skating and shot. He believes the 26-year-old blueliner would be more affordable than Minnesota’s Matt Dumba if the Devils are willing to move him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils have been quiet since hiring Lindy Ruff as head coach and removing the interim tag from Tom Fitzgerald’s title as general manager in early July. Their most notable move since then was hiring Mark Recchi earlier this month as an assistant coach.

We don’t know if Fitzgerald has any intention of shopping Severson, who has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.166 million and lacking no-trade protection. The Devils have $55.2 million invested in 13 players. Unless they have an internal cap lower than the league’s $81.5 million, Fitzgerald won’t be under pressure to shed salary. Nevertheless, it could be worth keeping an eye on Severson and the Devils in the coming weeks as activity builds up in the trade market.

PHILLY.com‘s Sam Carchidi believes the Philadelphia Flyers will try to move defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and winger James van Riemsdyk. He believes Gostisbehere will draw more interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players are signed through 2022-23 and lack no-trade protection. Gostisbehere, however, carries an annual average value of $4.5 million while van Riemsdyk’s is $7 million. So yeah, there will probably be more interest in Ghost Bear than JVR in this economic climate.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch expects the Senators will receive plenty of calls from clubs looking to shed contracts in exchange for draft picks. The Sens have nine picks in the first three rounds and 13 in total.

Garrioch doesn’t expect them to take on bad contracts but maybe they can use this situation to their advantage to bolster their roster. It’s believed they’ve been in talks for a veteran goalie, including Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes could also be shopping goaltenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sens have three first-round picks, including the third and fifth overall, in this year’s draft. I don’t see them moving either of those (or both) unless they’re getting a terrific player in return. They could, however, entertain offers for the first-rounder they acquired from the New York Islanders in the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade at the February trade deadline.

The Blue Jackets could move either Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins. The Coyotes, meanwhile, could shop Darcy Kuemper or Antti Raanta.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): With the Carolina Hurricanes carrying limited salary-cap space next season, Sara Civian wondered if they’ll go the free-agent or trade route to upgrade their goaltending.

Free-agent options could include Vegas’ Robin Lehner, Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom or Dallas’ Anton Khudobin, though Civian doesn’t expect an encore with the Hurricanes for the latter. If the Golden Knights re-sign Lehner, she suggests the Hurricanes look into acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury.

Civian wondered what they’d be willing to trade for a goalie. Jaccob Slavin is off-limits, they don’t want to trade Brett Pesce or Martin Necas, and she doesn’t believe they’d move Dougie Hamilton even though he’s a year away from UFA eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Hurricanes can become a Cup contender next season with their current goaltending tandem of Petr Mrazek and James Reimer. Maybe they ride it out for another season with those two until their contracts expire next summer, but if the front office is serious about building a contender, they must look to the trade or free-agent market for an upgrade.